Agrokor seems to be the main reason for the downfall of Sokol Marić.
The Commercial Court in Zagreb has issued a decision to launch pre-bankruptcy proceedings for Sokol Marić, the largest privately owned security company in Croatia, named after its owner and CEO Zlatko Marić. The Court invited creditors to report their claims by the end of October. The company itself said that its total debt had increased by as much as 142 million kuna, “due to the bills of exchange stemming from cooperation with Agrokor and Konzum,” reports Večernji List on October 20, 2017.
The proposal for initiating the pre-bankruptcy procedure was submitted by the company itself, adding that “an additional element for possible insolvency is the consequence of the recent disclosure of Agrokor’s real financial statements for 2015 and 2016, which presuppose a write-off of claims towards Agrokor in the amount of up to 70 percent.” Based on this assumption, Sokol Marić remains exposed to regressive rights on bills of exchange issued by Agrokor, with existing liabilities exceeding receivables by 62 million kuna.
Also, it is reported that Sokol Marić has lost contracts worth about 80 million kuna in the last two or three months, so in 2018 it expects a total loss of approximately 100 million kuna. “Due to the growth of debt, primarily through bills of exchange with regressive rights and related credit lines contracted in 2017, and the expected write-offs of Agrokor’s debts of up to 70 percent, the company will have a liquidity shortage of over 62 million kuna.”
“Based on the above-mentioned threat of inability to pay, and due to additional elements of revenue decline and expected growth in costs, the company is forced to initiate the pre-bankruptcy process in order to save a large number of jobs,” announced Sokol Marić.
In addition, the current profitability is also jeopardised by “the lack of workforce which creates pressure on wage growth and labour costs, without the possibility of increasing the prices of services due to the high competition in the Croatian market,” as well as “the constant introduction of new standards, technical and physical protection equipment and certification requirements for security guards,” which contributes to the growth of total costs and will further reduce profitability in the coming years.
As stated in the restructuring plan, Sokol Marić was founded in 1991 in Zagreb, and today its only owner is Zlatko Marić. The company is the largest privately owned security company in Croatia, currently employing approximately 2,000 workers, and its services are used by many financial institutions. With its network of nine branch offices, Sokol Marić operationally covers the entire territory of Croatia.
“The company has duly carried out all its legal, tax and other obligations. Until the problems which have arisen as a result of the situation in Agrokor and its affiliated companies, especially in Konzum, the company never had any problems in its financial operations,” said Sokol Marić.
A hearing for investigating creditor claims has been scheduled for 6 December at the Commercial Court in Zagreb.
Translated from Večernji List.